Herbal compresses are especially soothing to the eyes. An easy way to make an eye compress is with herbal tea bags. Gently place warm, wet tea bags (such as chickweed or eyebright) over closed eyes (use cold tea bags for tired eyes). Leave for 10 to 20 minutes. Eyes will feel strong and refreshed.
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The eyes can suffer from many problems including everything from mild irritation to serious disease. From redness to loss of vision, the range of conditions and diseases that affect the eye are varied and wide. For any trauma or problem that could cause sight loss, seek professional help.
There are herbs that are especially suited for treating eye problems. Eyebright, chickweed, elderflower, and chamomile are known to help heal many eye problems including conjunctivitis. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include red, itchy eyes with a yellow discharge and may be soothed with applications of a warm herbal compress. Other symptoms of conjunctivitis include a gritty feeling in the eyes, sensitivity to light, soreness, swelling, red eyes, and scaly eyelids.
Herbal eye-washes were used for centuries to treat conjunctivitis and other eye problems. Herbal teas were carefully strained and cooled before application. If using a homemade eye-wash please use caution and a lot of common sense. A tiny piece of foreign matter from herbal plant material, a microscopic grain of sand, or water contaminates like algae can cause more harm than good. If you use a homemade eye-wash, straining through doubled coffee filters can help remove damaging particles.
If you can see the offending eyelash, gnat, or dust particle, gently dab it out with a damp tissue or clean fingertip. If a glass, metal, stone, or wood particle is embedded in the eye, seek emergency help immediately.
Cucumber slices and cold, wet tea bags are good for puffy and tired eyes. So are cool compresses made with rose water, calendula, cornflower, or strawberry leaves.
Mild eye infections and irritations can be soothed with agrimony tea compresses. Leave on eyes for fifteen minutes three or four times a day. Echinacea and yellowroot tea should be taken internally three times a day for a week to build immunity. Other herbs to try include bilberry, parsley root, aloe vera, ginkgo biloba, burdock root, hawthorn, yellow dock root, dandelion root, and barley grass.
Calendula compresses are extremely useful in the treatment of sties. Use often until sore is healed.
Weak eyes and blurred vision can be a sign of liver malfunction. A good diet with lots of vitamin A can really help. A healthy drink recipe for the liver and eyes includes a cup of carrot juice, a cup of eyebright tea, a tablespoon of wheat germ, a teaspoon of powdered rosehips, a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of sesame seeds, a teaspoon of brewer's yeast, and a teaspoon of ground kelp.
Stress causes many eye problems. Seeing sparks of light or color with your eyes closed is a sign that the body needs to relax. Try sipping rosemary tea and inhaling lavender essential oil while resting in a peaceful atmosphere.
There are many ways to improve vision. Blink regularly. Change your focus every five minutes when driving or using the computer. Massage the temples and skin between the brows frequently when doing any close-up work. Squeeze eyes shut and then open them wide, ten or fifteen times to increase blood flow to the eyes.
To improve eye health avoid all smoky environments. If it is smoky outside, stay indoors if possible. Also avoid air pollution, strong diuretics, aspirin, antihistamines, nicotine, hard liquor, cocaine, and methamphetamine when suffering from any eye problem. To slow the progression of macular degeneration wear amber or blue wrap-around sunglasses especially while driving -- and add extra antioxidants to the diet. Wear special glasses -- which have a yellow tint --to protect from blue light coming from computer and phone screens.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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